It’s been slightly longer than normal since our last release of the agileBase platform, but to balance that there’s tons of stuff packed into this one.
We’ve been working closely with partners to make this a significant update with lots of usability improvements. There aren’t that many new features and users shouldn’t be impacted by any of the changes, but many should find the system easier to use and more capable.
Improvements for users
First up is the built in calendar.
- Drag and drop is now supported for events, so it’s much easier to reschedule things. If an event is dragged from one day to another, the time of day remains the same. Similarly, if an event is moved from one month to another, the day of the month remains the same. Events can of course be edited by clicking on them to fine-tune any details.
- Event editing popup: clicking an event will pop up a small window to edit the main details of an event. You can then click through to the full record if you like, but making simple changes to e.g. an event title or time is a lot quicker.
- Weekends are now always shown, but smaller. Previously you could toggle them on and off by clicking the ‘month’ selector at the top of the screen, but this wasn’t particularly obvious to new users. Events can now easily be scheduled on weekends if necessary, but the space assigned is half the normal day width to allow more content to be visible in week days.
- A new year planner view is now available. This shows an entire year on one screen in a ‘timeline’ format, letting you schedule projects, milestones or other events easily. It works really well with the new drag and drop capability too.
- Calendar drill-down: individual day numbers and week numbers are now clickable, navigating you to a day or week view as appropriate, for the period selected.
Simple form layouts
There’s a new layout option for simple forms, which hides the first tab if it has no contents. This is easier to show with an example. Here’s what a simple form may have looked like before. It has just a handful of fields, no blocks and a tab.
Here’s what it looks like following the update. The unnecessary first tab is removed and the remaining tab is selected by default (if there is more than one tab, the first one will be selected by default).
To hide the tab, just ensure that there is only one separator field in the table and that it’s the last field (or at least that there are no visible fields after it).
Customising chart subscription times
Users can select to receive certain charts by email – https://docs.agilebase.co.uk/docs/charting/#subscribing-users-or-roles-to-charts
It’s now possible for people to select what time of day they’d like their charts to arrive, which may be useful for e.g. shift workers who need to see particular sets of data when they start work.
A user can edit their profile from the homepage to do this, or an administrator can set the time for them by editing their user details
Improvements for administrators
Simpler multi-stage workflow setup
Often, workflows are made up of a ‘chain’ of individual actions, For example, if a new enquiry comes in from a website form (via an API), you may want to
- create a new organisation
- add a contact to that organisation
- add a sales lead, related to that contact and organisation
Previously, to link these three records together, you would have to add hidden fields to record the fact they all came from the same web enquiry along with lookup calculations to link them to each other.
Now, you can just tick ‘auto-set relations’ in the workflow settings of steps b and c. When a workflow creates a new record, it remembers which one it was. Later workflow steps in a chain will automatically link to it, where a relation exists.
Previously, if a field was used in an email notification, chaser or ‘create record’ workflow, renaming that field could break parts of those things, requiring you to manually find and fix each.
Now, the system will automatically update references to the field in the background, whenever a field is renamed.
Currently, using the ‘list of users’ option (https://docs.agilebase.co.uk/docs/fields/field-options/text-field-options/#lists-of-users) you can assign a user to a record e.g. as an account manager or responsible person.
Now, you can narrow down the list of users to only those with a particular role e.g. managers. This can work with multiple roles too – please see the documentation link for more details.
Two Factor Authentication (2FA)
Some users have been finding text-message based 2FA problematic, in that text messages take a while to arrive, or never arrive at all. This can be for many reasons, for example lack of reception, problems with the phone network or the fact that a valid mobile phone number hasn’t been entered (e.g. if a landline is entered, that won’t work).
For those reasons, 2FA by text message has been deprecated. It will continue to work for users who already have it set up, but new people, or those who don’t have a phone number entered, will only be able to use app-based 2FA, which is far more reliable.
We will continue to monitor 2FA usage and in the longer run are keeping a close eye on the progress of upcoming technologies such as webauthn, which allow biometric or hardware key authentication mechanisms.